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A. From Washington we present radio Smithsonian. A program of music and conversation in the Smithsonian Institution. Today we continue our three part exploration into the world of jazz where jazz has been where it is today and the significant road jazz has played in American cultural life. Our guest moderator for this series.
Is a former jazz bassist. Sociologist youth worker and now special assistant for public service here Missoni and. Julian you will talk to Dr. Don the chairman of the department of jazz studies at Howard University in Washington and one of the great jazz trumpeter. Last week you know we talked a lot about and then that had the most impact on Jazz both musically. You mention Lester Young Joe Yardbird Parker digital ask you and Miles Davis and just before we had to close you said that you thought. That John Coltrane had a great impact also on the music but that he didn't live long enough. Yeah. Coming more or less well shall have Parker live to his school less the young
live to his school training diet just as he is. Establishments here d others have sort of created themselves and had the opportunity to a great saxophonist such as Iran. Or in a coma. Innovative people I say have sort of secreted themselves. Another person who if he hadn't agreed to himself it was definitely a power actually he influenced a lot of the so-called people who are the influence of Sony's mind. That's because when you think of mom as a philosopher is if law was dominated jolly block of blood by Dizzy Gillespie and all the rest. But I think it was always afraid it was out from the public.
I think it's very appropriate appropriate at this time to play a little Colonia smug. That was the loneliest monk accompanied by Charlie Rouse on tenor
Frankie doesn't live on drums and John Doerr on bass you know Donal I was thinking when we were listening or as we were listening to the loneliest monk that the point you make about influencing the influencers could probably be said for many other musicians that I don't know the history of jazz that well but there's always been some influence me and the fluency in other words as a dad if I everybody out there you know you say and everybody is coming out of something dizzy is coming out of royal house and of course you know it was considered when I was a kid considered the king before did you know that my father's royalty felt that he was the greatest trumpet player he and Charlie Shavers right of course you know. Right and. Daisy cable came out of Roy but then it was doing so I don't think that royalty came near the impact of the truck plays that having that kind of thing.
Yeah probably in his era he did but the D and social climate was more in disease favor does it came out of like the water and there's a lot of money and everybody's crazy and everything while you know there's certain there was an older enough to get in terms of black people I think they had any impact that Charlie Parker had had also as a direct tie in with with with the change in position and attitudes of blacks. Then there was more sociological and a lot of things that they did definitely as low as thinkers and people because when you think of Malcolm X's bar Claude Browder and man John promised lazyboy they speak of the influence that Jazz had all but of people you know and I had to have these people as a from a political standpoint to reflect and
evolve to be the black leaders as of what and if they're acknowledging there's a jolly party you know where it's at you know a little earlier w you mention the fact that John Coltrane did have a great impact on jazz but that he didn't live long enough and I gather from the statement that you meant that he thought that had he been around as long as Charlie Parker Dizzy and present some of the other guys as an as an innovator in the sense that he would have ultimately had had the same kind of impact. Right. But we but but you can say that when you look at it and you listen to men like Pharaoh saunas and Archie Shepp it's very obvious that that train had caught on and it was really beginning to influence all the younger tenor players especially. So let's let's take a little time out and listen to the late great John Coltrane.
Her. Her. The.
Irony. That was the late John Coltrane. Certainly a musician of will who will
have great influence on the jazz scene for a long time to come. Well what about on it I remember and I'm sure you do when Art Coleman arrived in New York and then what followed was where a whole host of musicians who were like shap and it was the other time players name calling like mad for us and Pharoah Sanders and he got a lot of guys even Charles Lloyd and went out into another direction. To the point now where the guys are like like whoa you know I wouldn't say far but the guys are. Like dropping a lot of the of what we recognize as being you know jazz forms. Cecil Taylor was always out beat as I remember Cecil from 1950 51 and we worked in a club in New York and we played two tunes that were opposite Teddy Wilson and jolly shavings and a group of all of the older cats who were the heavies and we played to set two tunes and the guy ran
down to the bandstand and paid US dollars to pack up and I had that's when I first met Cecil Taylor I had never met him before and he was playing like that then you know. Well do you think that's where the jazz scene is going with feral and these cats are. You know I think that it's going to rock people have. Taken such control of the market musicians today are struggling to try to co-exist the best with it and they're trying to they're just adopting a more of a commercial that is if they have to stay in the market. The economic situation as it is. See whether or not a lot of others came and there was money around and the record companies used to spend a certain amount of money experimenting with other styles like vs Atlanta when the red or the coma came there.
I guess they thought it was going to be like a tax write off but as I was they just a good campaigner out of that he made money same thing with the Modern Jazz Quartet. And like for instance there was a period in Colombia when they experimented with different things and they call it adventures of the South or something and they're just like blow and mother and. But now today. A lot of the stable people people that I really thought would survive and they're the thing that got me was I just come to have been with Blue Note for about 13 14 years. They used to be 40 artists some 50 artists I don't know how many people out there you know it was like a family. It was like the the real first extensive jazz company today there are about six. Are you saying that Carol Saunders and on and on and I don't really classify I don't really classify on it in the same category with Pharaoh and Shep and some of the guys what do you see. Are you saying that they're commercial.
No I said that in order for them to sustain the reason why a lot of them have insisting is because of the purist attitude to some other avenue and I say as bad as you know as a purist and I mean it's true says they believe in what they believe in and so forth you know. I think like in music in general you have to have a philosophy. Regardless of what's amusing and I don't think mine is. Mine is partly commercial and it's also partly people oriented. I come out of a thing where the music that I've always play has always been music for people. I thought you know that's the way I was trained like in the beginning that you play for people you know there are two different orientations some people don't play the music of a people they played to knock themselves out I mean to me that personally speaking I think that that to me is like a selfish attitude and that's not my whole thing I don't think I would even be in education
if I had that additive. And you say that I just don't agree with it I don't get angry about it about it or I don't plan to campaign against anything but. When I came out we used to play songs like red top and it was like for the day and I was for people when I played a solo it was from people when I got a job working it was to see a group of people coming through me though and that was a satisfaction. Prior to the artistic satisfaction right knowing and blacks have always been able to say Come say yeah to you would you say go ahead. That was never their fight is like you know. And my whole thing is like I'm playing a picture musically to communicate through people whether it's a $12 system whether selection of five whether it was what they call a lot labeled bebop abode be Bob Dixieland I think I don't care whether they're If that's the mood or the spirit of the spiritual period I went
through as a voice and stuff like that. But that's all in the expression for me and I like it when people say I got a message from it and I know what you're talking about I'm healing. And he said I'm going and I'm not. I will go up and run exercises or to drive to gas myself because I can do that at home I don't need that. And you know I know when I'm playing good or when I'm playing bad I don't mean about it. I mean as far as that goes I mean that and it's just like always knowledge out of us saying that. If I go to a doctor and Doctor tell me my heart was wrong he said something to me and I don't know what he's talking about he's a doctor when I get on a music stand aside like the other bands that I'm the doctor you say and I but I know I know how to deal you know and the doctor again and dealing with people he have to he has a dog people talk. He had talking doctor. You don't have to communicate right and you can't talk back to talk to the average layman I mean you can dog doctor the doctor me as a musician I talk to
and use and I like Jesse Jackson's expression uses dog music to preach just our preacher Dr. Song. Dotted with the whole object is the brain all a jab together in the communiqué. You say and I'm talking music talk to engineers and I'm supposed to be planned as a mute engineer and I you know they want to hear music engineers that's what they want to hear that's what they had recidivism does that on that level bring it actually went to what we should be bringing it down to people level. Well though we've run out of time again this week so let's continue our session again next week. What do you say about going out with one of your own tunes. It is one of the best known jazz and chairman of the department of jazz studies at
Howard University. Next week complete our exploration Smithsonian his week to this time produced by the Office of Public Affairs Frederick direct. This is him. This is the national educational radio network.
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Radio Smithsonian
Episode Number
Jazz Scene Part II
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-17-31 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:30:00?
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Chicago: “Radio Smithsonian; 31; Jazz Scene Part II,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
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APA: Radio Smithsonian; 31; Jazz Scene Part II. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from